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FOLKESTONE PRIORY

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Site of Alien Priory (1137-1399) and Benedictine Priory of Folkestone, 1399 to the reformation. In 1137, William de Albrinsis was granted permission to move the priory from its original site at the castle at Folkestone (TR23NW48) to a new church a little to the East of the castle bailey. Always a poor house, some of its barely conventual looking buildings lasted until the 18th century, south and west of the parish church of Saints Mary and Eanswith, whither the community was moved in 1137. The move may have not only been because of erosion, but also because Stephen wanted to refortify the castle site. It became a Benedictine Priory in 1399. In the visitation of 1535 the Priory was described as ruinous, there being a Prior and a sick monk. There was a hall, kitchen, parlour and some barns. As a result of this report, the Priory was surrendered in November 1535. The King granted the site to Edward Lord Clinton in 1539-40. A building discovered at The Bayle during excavations in 1975 (TR 23 NW 94) may have formed part of the monastic complex, but this is only speculative.

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